Off The Record :: Richard Swift (Eugene, OR)

richard swift

Off The Record is a recurring feature, here on the Drunkard, that marries two of my greatest interests; music and travel. Having a locals perspective when visiting a new locale is the difference between experiencing it through the lens of a tourist and of that of a native.

Off The Record gathers some of my favorite artists, asks them to reflect on their city of residence, and choose a handful of places they could not live without, be them bookstores, bars, restaurants or vistas.

This week’s edition of Off The Record finds us in Eugene, OR, home to one of our favorite contemporary songwriters: Richard Swift. Swift, who penned one of our favorite albums of last year, Dressed Up For The Letdown, is prepping for the April release of his next project, the double disc EP, Richard Swift As Onasis. Described as Swift’s paean to 1950s blues infused rock & roll (referencing Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, and Link Wray) we have, courtesy of Secretly Canadian, two unreleased tracks from the set, below, for download: “Knee High Boogie,” and “Phone Coffins.”

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houseofrecords.jpg1. HOUSE OF RECORDS / My favorite record shop in the great Northwest. I thumb through records here about once or twice a week, and surprise, surprise, it’s in a house (not just a clever name). It’s good to see local record shops staying in business, in fact, someone that works there was telling me that vinyl sales have been going up. There is hope.

2. AXE & FIDDLE / SAM BOND’S GARAGE / Two great pubs owned by some very fine people. I spin records every monday night at the AXE & FIDDLE. It’s great to have a local pub that A) I won’t get my ass kicked in, and B) serves a good hard cider. Some of the nicest bartenders you’ll find too.

3. EVERGREEN INDIAN CUISINE / This just opened a year ago. Mmmmm. Probably my favorite place to eat in Eugene. Some of my friends bust my balls about wanting to eat indian food every day… but hey, Indians do it, right?

4. KALAPUYA BOOKS / Great local bookstore. I picked up a very very very rare Kerouac book there for really cheap and I’ve been going back ever since. If you buy $15 worth of books, you get one free. It’s run by some great people who were involved with the Merry Pranksters & Ken Kesey.

5. NATIONAL FREEDOM / This is where i spend most of my time. It’s my studio, so I write and record here every day. But it’s a fun place to hang out and listen to music with friends. Its seems like it’s become the local-late-night-hang. Once the pubs close down, we stumble back to NATIONAL FREEDOM for more tomfoolery (wink wink).

MP3: Richard Swift :: Knee High Boogie Blues
MP3: Richard Swift :: Phone Coffins
Amazon: Richard Swift – Richard Swift As Onassis ++ ++

+ Download Richard Swift’s catalog via eMusic’s 25 free MP3 no risk trial offer

7 thoughts on “Off The Record :: Richard Swift (Eugene, OR)

  1. Hey hey big up to my fellow eugenian! I didn’t even know this guy lived here til I read this. I must agree about both Sam Bond’s Garage (a great place to play a show) and House of Records. I think that Luckey’s Club (also a good place to play) and Smith Family Books should get honorable mentions. But Evergreen Indian? It’s good, but not the best (imho). But different strokes for different folks, eh?

  2. Having lived in Eugene for 17 years now, I can say that House of Records is a great place to buy vinyl. (Remember that?) Sam Bond’s is great for a tasty beverage but as far as food goes, nobody moves here for that.

    I’ll have to see Richard next time he plays around here.

    It’s good to see Eugene getting mentioned for something besides anarchy and hippies.

  3. I wish I would’ve known Richard Swift during the four years I spent in Eugene before moving down to LA 2 years ago. I didn’t think there were real musicians living there who weren’t in jam bands. I met Swift at the Wilco show this past summer, I could’ve had a lot more to talk to him about.

    Sam Bond’s is the best place for shows and House of Records is one of the last Indpendent record shops left.

    As for bars, you can’t beat Jameson’s and Indigo District.

  4. here’s one eugene musician not in a jam band (or bluegrass/”new”grass/j’generic somewhat watered-down americana pastiche’ band of which there seems to be a plethora in this town)….for what it’s worth.

    indigo district is good for its live music (which is a fairly recent addition).

    jameson’s, not so much, as far as I’m concerned: no live music, only one pool table, sometimes too many people who value style over substance…… but it sure does beat some of the more ‘college’ bars.

    Luckey’s and Sam Bond’s beat both indigo and jamesons hands down, imho. Plus luckey’s is one of the oldest bars in town, and it was Ken Kesey’s favorite for a long time. That counts for something, right?

  5. P.S.

    but don’t get me wrong with the comment about the ‘americana pastiche’ type groups; I support and encourage all of my fellow eugene musicians, and I love to see live and local music in this town. There are really a huge amount of amazing musicians in Eugene, many of whom are NOT in jam bands….

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